Children can be unpredictable when it comes to how they will react to major events, such as their parents getting divorced. You like to think that you know your child well enough to be able to anticipate how upset they will be, but there is no precedent for them responding to divorce. If your child’s behavior takes a turn for the worse, that will add yet another concern to an already stressful time in your life. Bad behavior for some children is throwing tantrums or behaving rudely. For others, it may be more serious misbehavior that gets them in trouble with school or the law. You need to address your child’s behavior before it becomes a larger problem that creates consequences for them:
- Maintain Discipline: Do not let your child get away with bad behavior because you feel guilty about the divorce. Your divorce may be the reason they are acting out, but being lax with discipline will encourage their behavior. You should maintain the same rules for behavior and may need to punish your child if their actions warrant it.
- Show Compassion: There are ways to discipline your child while also acknowledging the pain your divorce is causing them. Try not to show anger towards your child when they behave poorly. Talk to them about how they feel and how you may be able to help them with their struggles.
- Pay Attention: Your child may be angry at you for the divorce because they feel you are ignoring them and their needs. You know that your parental responsibilities are one of the most important parts of your divorce, but they may not understand that. Paying attention and listening to your child is the best way you can demonstrate that they are still your top priority.
- Work with Your Co-Parent: Whatever efforts you are making to correct your child’s bad behavior, you and your co-parent need to be consistent. Discuss with each other what the rules are for discipline and what is an appropriate response to bad behavior. If one parent has grounded a child for misbehaving, the other parent should continue that punishment when the child is with them.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
Many children struggle to adjust after their parents get divorced, which makes the time they spend with each parent important. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will make sure you are able to get enough parental responsibilities to be able to help your child through the transition. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.